Fiber-Optic Link Connects County Agencies, Schools
Intergovernmental projects sometimes fail because their proponents often are unable to get potential participants to see how a new system will benefit them, says Bob Wessels, court manager of the County Courts of Laws in Harris County, Texas.
Wessels played a key role in bringing 144 country agencies, 111 noncounty agencies, 11 State agencies, and 15 Federal agencies together to create the largest fully integrated, automated justice system in the nation in 1977.
However, in recent years, government agencies have been more willing to work together to take advantage of electronic government services.
The annual conference of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) in which several members discussed potential pilot projects involving county, state, and federal government, may have been the flashpoint.
The NASCIO members teamed up with the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Intergovernmental Solutions to create Government Without Borders, and eventually agreed to pursue a real project–managing parks and recreation areas owned by the Federal government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Fairfax County, Va.–rather than do a white paper or report.
The trend of intergovernmental projects has been driven by the value of e-services and e-strategies, but David McClure, vice president for e-government of the Council for Excellence in Government, says interconnectivity between agencies is largely confined to Web sites and portals that have minimal transactional capabilities.
FirstGov.gov, which will include a pilot to add about 50 local governments to the portal, was an attempt to recreate the success of Recreation.gov. Homeland security is seen as an area that has made some strides in intergovernmental projects. Still, advocates of intergovernmental projects are confident that they can get agencies to see the importance of having a greater level of integration.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Public CIO (11/03) Vol. 1, No. 2, P. 22; Peterson, Shane.